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Whitfield Advantage(classic!) burn grate/pot questions/help.....

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Fred Wood, Oct 23, 2009.

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  1. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    I have an Advantage 1(1988, ser#7046) that has the 'old style' burn grate with burn pot. Well, I needed a new burn grate and boy have I had problems since the start.... Apparently nothing is inter-changable from the newer versions of stoves, like the burngrate, etc.......
    I've ordered 3 different times each time something wasn't right and it didn't fit, whether too small, big, wide.......... So I found out about this 'adapter plate' that goes into the older Advantages so they will accept the newer burngrates.
    So here I am now........$250 on a burngrate and adapter plate, I got it home awhile ago. Well, it doesn't fit, but I can tell because of the 'legs' it has on the bottom of the plate that it will fit----after the burnpot is removed! I had to notch the corners of the tabs that hold the 'brick' in place so the thing would lay flat on the bottom, which meant cut 1/8" or so off of the brick as well. So now it all fits in there, snug as a bug.

    But what about the burnpot??? It cant go back in there. It sticks up above the surface of the plate area too much anyway plus it's too small of an opening to accept this new grate. You know the slots that the burnpot lock down into>? Well that's wher the legs to the new plate lock in........ But something just doesn't sound right here.....so the ash will just drop into the pan straight down??-->and what about the returning fresh air that had come through the pot?? Does this make sense??

    I took pics of it all but cant figure out how you guys do them here---the sites I go to I can just upload to 'my pics' and link from there to the forums or wherever...........

    I guess you'd almost have to know these stoves in particular to have been in a similar boat as I.

    Thank you for any advice! With any luck someone will know my situation and tell me to fire her up and go for it without the burnpot and that that is okay.......but just want to be sure....were sitting here ready to fire this up tonight if we can.......

    Fred

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  2. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    ...........okay, well I 'll assume no help will come tonight---we were hoping to get a fire going...... I 'll make some calls tomorrow and find out what I can and post what I find out so if anybody ever runs into this again the answer may be findable with a few clicks.......
    Also, which may be of interest to owners of these old Whitfields, I took pics all through cleaning this stove, pretty much taking it appart where it sits as an insert, found a lot of areas not mentioned that can get plugged up with the fly-ash. But these are great stoves for what they are, no electronics---at least for the control panel, so nothing to go wrong there, and I see no reason you'd have to replace one if maintained pretty good, other than for the sake of falling in love with one of these new beauties they have now.

    Thanks for reading my post!!

    Fred

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  3. Two Flints

    Two Flints Member

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    I'm not sure that I can help you. I replaced my old burn plate with the Ultra Grate and when I purchased the Ultra Grate I also purchased the plate that goes with it. Once the plate was tied into the bottom using the 3 screw legs with washers and nuts, the Ultra Grate just dropped into the plate opening, a perfect fit. The Ultra Grate has more open space just looking at the bottom rubs compared to the older style burn pot. BTW, I had to cut off about 1/8th of an inch on the bottom of the fire bricks for everything to fit in OK. I used my portable table saw to make the cuts, no problem.

    My problem seems to be as ash builds up in the Ultra Grate the bottom ribs and holes on the sides get blocked up and my fire becomes lazy and then the pellets just start building up and never really burn, enough. My may have bad pellets or an air leak in the door or bottom pan area. Just don't know at this time.

    Two Flints
  4. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    Thank you for checking this out, Two Flints!! I am waiting for a call back now from the shop I've been getting my parts through. You brought up another point I need to think about.... When you said you bolted down that plate...... yes, the legs on mine are threaded too---didn't even consider there might should be nuts or something with this too tighten it down with...? There are also the gaskets glued around the bottom of this 'adapter plate.' those legs fit right in the slots as the old burnpot did......hoping I didn't strip them out when I pushed/set them down in there......

    Thank you again---it is sounding more and more like I should be good-to-go, other than now I need to see about tightening the legs down.......
  5. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    Yeah, I read about this in your thread. It just doesn't seem to make sense that less air would be better--common sense tells us more, especially when it comes to not burning your fuel enough.....exhaust blower's good...., gasket on the damper..? Is the glass getting dirty fast?

    Well, good luck and I will keep watch for what ends up working for you---you have me curious now, haha>!

    Fred
  6. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    .....well, still having problems....the lady at the stove shop apparently hasn't found anything out yet-- I have heard nothing from her. And I am sure I am being a pita for her.

    Another issue with this is something Two Flints brought to my attn: The bolts on the bottom of this adapter plate. I thought they were just pins to hold it in line where the old burnpot went. Already said all of this.......

    Doesn't anybody know about any of this or know of someone who might?

    Thanks for any ideas or help, or for stopping by to read this at least.

    Fred
  7. Two Flints

    Two Flints Member

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    Wow,

    More problems with my Whitfield. Because of my ash and pellet build up, I decided to replace the door gasket. I did a fine job too. Now my Whitfield won't start. Followed the same procedure I did with the old gasket, but the solid fire starter and handful of pellets just never get going, even when I try adjusting the damper. The stove fills with smoke too!

    Any suggestions from anyone, PLEASE! I just may go back to my old burn pot and fire bricks! BTW, can anyone explain to me how to adjust the door tightness on my Whitfield Advantage II-T F/S Pellet Stove?

    Two Flints
  8. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    Hey Two Flints! Did you get that little cover off that exposes the exhaust blower fan blades?--behind the brick, bottom left of the pellet shoot. Are you seeing good draft from it? I checked/ran mine when it was visable, oiled it(from in back) and took some canned air and vacuum action it there and it really made a difference. I was going to replace it but it is fine now. And also, the metal guide things that the bricks sit up to on either side of the middle one, well, those tab/guide things come off with two tiny bolts same as the one that hold the bricks in place, but smaller by a size. Well, if you haven't gotten in there you'll be surprised how much more fly ash may be blocking in there......
    I know nothing of tightening the door--didn't think you had to if you use the right gasket. And I dont see how that would completely stop your fire from being able to start, though more in performance---but I dont know..... Someone will help---dont go back to the old crap, unless of course you just want to see if it even runs now..?

    Just an idea or two?? I am a total rookie at this, so take my advice with a big grain of salt, haha.

    And I still haven't gotten a call or learned anything-----my wife's going to be real 'surprised' when she gets home to see how I got this thing fixed up nice so we dont have to buy a new one..............and cold again tonight---not TOO cold, but not cozy warm how we do with the fire......
  9. Two Flints

    Two Flints Member

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    Hi Fred,

    Sorry, I went back to the old burn pot. Just had to to keep my sanity and the house warm and toasty. Did some more internal cleaning, installed new bricks, and then the old burn pot. Right now, I have a beautiful flame and the Whitfield is working "grate". I'm going to try to buy a back up burn pot, just like the old one; there must be one out there somewhere. Wish you well with your Whitfield. Where are you located? BTW, I'm also a Fred in real life!

    Two Flints
  10. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    Hey Fred! That's funny!! Yeah, I hear you about keeping the sanity, and warm----and if it's working, hey......... The back up...... got a link for you to try; and thinking he's someone I found on here that has the original stuff and the new adapters too, I believe....... He may be able to get you an older burngrate, seeings how they work 'grate' and all, haha. Pelletstoveguys.com I can pm you his ph # too if you want. The website isn't a lot of help on my stove--too old..... but he still had parts for it when I emailed him.......

    Oh, I live in the South Sound area of WA, on the Southern most point of Key Peninsula---an hour + West and South of Tacoma, or 1:45 South of SEAttle. It doesn't get too cold here except for usually a few weeks in dec/jan it may get in the low 20's, rarely in the teens. Atm were in the 40's at night still, and the rains have hit.

    This pic is looking to the West at The Olympic Mountains. We live up on the hill to the North, or right and pretty much over look this area of Joemma State Park, which is on the chopping block........we do get the wind at times.....

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  11. Two Flints

    Two Flints Member

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    Hi Kelly/Fred,

    Thought you could use these directions. You never answered my Email. Right click on each page and you should be able to print them out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Two Flints
  12. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    Thank you so much, Two Flints!! I just got on here is why I hadn't replied yet..... Were like 3 hrs behind you I think. And yes, this answers my questions!! I will get to HD here in a while and pick up some of those nuts/washers! I thank you very much again---you've been such a great help!
    68F in your place this morning, huh........yeah, I think you have that stove under control. That's just odd that it wouldn't work correctly with the new set-up.
    I will be sure to get back to you as soon as I get this thing up and going---hopefully within the next couple of hours.

    So what do you pay for pellets?? I just got some 'Clean Burn' pellets(Manke) that are all 100% doug fir($200 ton + tax of 8.9?%). They write them up to sound like good pellets, with .05 to 1% ash, or whatever---learning this stuff still. I've always been a wood burner, since a kid. I have a two different older Lopi Endeavors that we run, and now gonna rebuild the hearth area there and use the pellet stove this year and just have as back-up, or when being lazy. Were on 5+ acres and can cut all the wood we want. The Madrona here is the best to burn if dried right and worth it's weight in gold---though not with current gold prices, eh.......

    Thanks again Two Flints!!!
  13. Two Flints

    Two Flints Member

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    Fred,

    Glad to help with the directions.

    I was wondering...they have different sized Ultra Grates. Maybe one of the correct size would fit into my old burn pot (without using the base plate at all). Seems like my Whitfield needs that tube extending out from the back side of the burn pot and extending into the exhaust hole to work correctly.

    Just wondering...any idea where I can buy a burn pot as a back up?

    Two Flints/Fred
  14. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    I see nothing wrong with the center picture fitting of the new ultra grate, looks exactly like mine 1999 2T now
  15. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    Yes, you're correct---accept I didn't have or know about it needing to be bolted down...it didn't come with instructions or the nuts. Which grate did you get to use?? You should be able to use the new ultra-grate with the rods instead of the cuts in the stainless like I have to use.....and I think the rods are supposed to be a lot better?; dont really know, or even why I cant use this kind(something to do with the plate?).

    Thanks Pellet-King!!
  16. 1993WhitfieldQuestOwner

    1993WhitfieldQuestOwner New Member

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    Hi I am a Whitfield Quest owner. Your burn pot looks like mine.
  17. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    And thanks to you again, Two Flints!! I dont think we'd have a fire in the stove right now without the help you've been! I just fired her up a few minutes ago and is working 'grate' so far; still have to see how she'll run at lower setting, etc...... but is kicking real good on high atm!!

    The first pic is the newer ultra-grate set-up, the one I couldn't use(but they had sent me home with it at first). Is this the one you just got and aren't useing? The second pic is the cuts in the bottom of this grate I have now. The third one is why I did all of this in the first place, haha.......
    Funny thing is that the old one worked 'grate' until the pellets started going over the back...............

    The burn grate adapter plate I have now that works for the Advantage 1 insert from the late '80's is part #84621521p and the burn grate is part #836215021----- There is a similar plate that's part # 84621512p also but it didn't work for mine. They had also sent me home with a burngrate(for burnpots) that had open ends and was way too long, like about 7"+ and it wasn't an option for me. I just want to know why the heck they cant still make some of the older ones that worked great---or why somebody wont........ Anyway, Fred, call Robin @ 916-705-8609 and I am sure they have whatever you need and I think you are in a better boat than I as far as your stove being much newer----I bet they still make the burngrate that will drop right in your burnpot......and they do make them in a couple of different widths. Doesn't my burn pot have the same extention to the back as yours, or similar?? I ask because that was my thinking in the first few posts of this thread---how will the draft work to the grate, is what I asked.........now no burnpot and just pan under there; still doesn't sound right. We'll see, eh....

    Well, I 'll go see how she's doing.............next is my new hearth project in another big room and then another woodstove..........hmmmm

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  18. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    Hi there! And haha!! They're 'grate', huh....... How old is it?

    edit: 1993WhitfieldQuestOwner. Guess that answers my question.........duh... So that guy is old too!! Work great??

    Gotta love the old Whitfields!!
  19. 1993WhitfieldQuestOwner

    1993WhitfieldQuestOwner New Member

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    yep got to love them. I will hopefully be able to keep it running forever. !! One service guy came and did not know how to light it ....Next guy told me $900. for a convection blower. Now I do my own work.
  20. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    Two Flints, you ever find anything out??

    New question/problem. The burngrate set-up works awesome, or seems to anyway.
    But can anyone tell me why the ash builds up like in the attached pics? The glass was even covered the other morning, though not today for some reason. The ash has no where to go, or it seems. No sooty black crap on the glass, just dry even textured fine ash, Is it burning completely? I am burning 'Clean Burn' pellets, if that means anything.

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  21. makemyday21

    makemyday21 New Member

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    Hi All,
    I'll chime in here. I just installed a Whitfield Advantage stove, and so far so good. My question is identical to yours. why so much ash? I have hardwood pellets that are supposed to be low ash. My burn area looks like your pics after 2 days.

    The Whitfield manual says that this means there's not enough combustion air, but I have a pipe to the outside, and the pipe is wide open/no clogs. Maybe the ash tray needs to be cleaned daily???
  22. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    I 'thought' the ash tray/drawer was down below-----mine is and all of the models I've seen are as well. Did you check out the pics in the other thread? What year and serial number is your stove? And I would think you need to clean the 'ash area' every day if it's at all like mine is now. It's just that before I put in this new plate/burn-grate, I only emptied it once a week or even two weeks when I need to clean the glass(the ash went down to the drawer), which is everyday now because of this ash; not black soot.
    Same thing here, my exhaust/intake is clear and wide open and the blowers seem to be functioning correctly........

    Good luck and let me know if you need any pics, diagrams, parts lists, etc...... I've torn this thing appart and practically rebuilt it and I think I am figuring it out by trial and error---haven't been able to find much other help.

    fred



    EDIT: I thought this was the other thread I started----check it out http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/44711/
  23. greenlaser

    greenlaser New Member

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    I was using one of these (Advantage II I think, it looks the same) and had burn problems with the burnpot filling. I had the combustion fan as high as it would go. I would remove the plate behind the firebrick and the fan would go like crazy. I knew there was an obstruction, I just could not get to it. The suction from the combustion fan would hold the access plate tighly against the back of the burn area. One day I took off the trivet plate and hit it on the head with a rubber hammer. You should have seen the ash come spilling out from above the heat exchangers. My brother and I tapped on it for about 15 minutes or until the wives had enough of our drummin. I turned down the combustion fan and adjusted the flue plate and it has been working fine ever since. It breathes like new. It does have the heat exchanger rake but that was not enough, the obstruction was higher up. I've found with good airflow a lot of ash is carried out with the flue gas.

    That stove is not in service at the moment, we got into a deal on an Englander. It's our backup.

    Jim
  24. Fred Wood

    Fred Wood New Member

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    That is so funny!!! I am right at this minute running my Advantage and I have this Englander review going on at another page right now( http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/england-stove-works-c4054.html ). What's your take on the stove you have(which is..?)...?
    I know the exact places you are talking about that fill with the fly ash.......and cleaned out, yes, runs like new!! Got the ash figured out and am hardly getting any residual now---I was running it too low all night(still didn't soot up the glass ;-). I love it and it's great for our living room. I am looking into a new stove atm, looking at the Englanders too. And I have an old '84 LOPI 380 that is really cool, though I am realizing that's about it: cool.....not sure if worth the work from what I've been reading.....pre-EPA 'smoking dragon..', haha. So I am looking at an Avalon and a few others....... I'd really like to hear which stove your running and what you think of it---I am not finding too many good reviews of them.........

    Fred
  25. greenlaser

    greenlaser New Member

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    Hi Fred,

    The stove we are using now is the Englander model 25-PDVC/55-SHP10... Now that is on the stoves sticker. The receipt from Lowes shows 55-SHP10. The sticker on the box said 25-PDVC3. I'm hoping we can get a tax credit later. Information has been confused on this subject.

    The review I would give is that we have not had any problems with it so far after over a ton of pellets from last February. Knock on wood cause I'm starting to know these stoves. ) We bought this stove before I figured out the problem with the Whitfield, but it was a Lowes special at $650 here in MT. Hard to beat that.

    The first thing I did was to (blank, blank, blank...) . Don't tell anyone. Then I used car wax to get the pellets to glide smooth down the hopper. It will not hold a 40 lbs bag, but with my back and shoulder I'm not lifting no 40 lbs bag. I carry about 20 lbs at a time to the stove. It will hold about 35 lbs. The hopper size is not a problem for me.

    I got the three buttons on the bottom set too low and it smoked a little. Always keep a visable flame going. My wife and I are very happy with the Englander. The last couple years the Whitfield stove has needed voodo to keep running. We are out in the boonies, there is no one around but me to fix things. My wife presses one button and the Englander is a go. I'm happy with it too. I always know that whifield will heat though. We also have baseboard boiler propane heat. Out here we backup our backups. :)

    Hope this helps. I have not read the reviews on the Englander yet, but I will. Then agin maybe I will just sleep well tonight. ;)

    I'm still learning this stove. We have an ancient Englander in the garage. It's a little noisy because it was supposed to be an insert. It still works though.
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